April 1, 2009.
It was twilight by the time
we reached the bungalow. Mayaguana is one of the more isolated islands in the Bahamas.
I already knew Mommacrit didn’t want to be found—now I understood at least part of the reason. This place was
flickered beside a glowing mosquito coil on the porch as we approached. Sylvester and I were in silent mode, not wanting the
Momma to slip away and elude us once again. Squeals of delight from within the shack indicated she was present--and busy with
I kicked the door in and gaped. We’d found her—playing scrabble with some young local guy she introduced as Toi
Boi. Momma always had a way with words.
not going back,” she told us adamantly. (She warned me not to use an adverb in my report, but I had to. Can you imagine
me writing: “I’m not going back,” she said with adamance? I guess I could have tried harder to show not
tell, but that’s another story.)
The last time I saw her,
Toi Boi was holding her erect as she waved goodbye with one hand and clutched a depleted bottle of red in the other. “Enviaré el chocolate,” I called back to her.
to my final account, I agree to your offer of Life Membership in the MuseItUp Club and five years’ free edits. I’ll
send the first 1000 pages of my memoirs, which covers my childhood until age nine, to you shortly.
The Muse Marquee sadly announces that Mommacrit has resigned,
and the editors are resigned to the fact she won’t be back.
However, we have managed to procure the services of a distant relative of Mommacrit, who
recently left a teaching position at the University of Mukaraika. He has agreed to accept the The Red Pen of Doom and undertake the role
of Poppacrit on a trial basis. (For some reason, he smiled when we used the word “undertake”.)
Poppacrit warns that he is not the tame pussy Mommacrit was.
Here are Poppacrit’s guidelines:
Send Poppacrit the first page of your story or novel. It must be less than
501 words. Label it clearly with a title, your name or a nom-de-plume, and the genre. It should be an exceptional beginning,
hooking Poppacrit into wanting to read more. By sending your work to firstname.lastname@example.org, you are giving permission for it to be published, and publicly critiqued, in the Muse Marquee. Use the subject line ‘Please Crit Me’, otherwise the spam filter will reject you quicker than Poppacrit
Poppacrit is not a god, though many quail in his presence. He does not represent any earthly agent or publisher.
Poppacrit is merely a critter with very definite ideas. If you’re brave enough to send your work to him for an opinion,
that’s what you’ll get, his honest reactions to your 500 word hook.